I’ve written a few blogs on this subject, but am experiencing it anew as my daughter grows up and away. Or maybe she is all grown up. It is hard to break the habit of thinking of our children as children, even in the face of ever-mounting evidence to the contrary.
She now lives in another state with the love of her life. He is wonderful. She is wonderful. They are wonderful together. It feels good in a few ways:
One, that I did a good job raising her. (I know, a little self-eggrandizing perhaps. We have to take some credit, no?) Two, that she has overcome some real obstacles as she grew up. And three, that she is doing exactly what I’ve always hoped and worked hard at raising her for: she’s independent, makes good, thoughtful decisions (big and small) and has found someone to share her life with. She is also an expert at building a community around her that is supportive and that she supports in turn. As I write, I hope she isn’t embarrassed by this, and also, that life is a work in progress for all of us.
The other part of this is that I sometimes feel sad too. As much as I revel in this new phase of her (and my) life, separation is painful. In a real way, getting older and seeing your children grown and having a complex life feels at moments like you’re fading. I know that might seem a little dark to some people, but it is the ebb and flow of life. After having just visited her for five days, I was ready to come home at the end of the stay, yet at the same time miss her, her new love, and her rich life there and wish she wasn’t so far away. It is so vitally important to have other focuses in your own life as a separate person. I am ever grateful to be a teacher, an artist and for this new expression as a blogger (isn’t there a better word for this?).